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PETTY ON FINE FORM

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"Hypnotic Eye" is Tom Petty's best album in years

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS, "Hypnotic Eye" (Warner)

As the needle hits the vinyl (yes, some of us are old school) on the first track "American Dream Plan B", Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' new album "Hypnotic Eye" makes you ask the following question in a state of disbelief:

"What the hell! Do they still make this kind of stuff!? "

Tom Petty does apparently. Makes organic, laid-back and honest rock'n'roll fuelled by authenticity, nerve, presence and - not least - an indefinable love for the very life force that is good music. This stuff is timeless when done the way Petty and The Heartbreakers do it on "Hypnotic Eye".

Timeless because neither time nor life hopefully will ever be too short for a chill out moment on the imaginary porch in the American South, boots on the railing and Budweiser in hand, trying to discern the meaning of life through between the garlands of smoke rising from the Lucky Strike smoking itself in the ashtray on the table. 
And then the obvious dawns on you - on that imaginary porch: 
"Well, this is it. The good life.”

Sing your soul to sleep

That feeling is what so-called roots rock can achieve at its’ best and it’s what Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at their best present you with.

It’s been long time since Petty and The Heartbreakers have been as good as they are on "Hypnotic Eye" - something as contradictory as a rock'n'roll record that will do just fine to sing your tortured soul to rest late at night. 
From the excellent, lazily swaying "Shadow People" (great guitar solo by Mike Campbell) and "Power Drunk" to the regular rockers "All You Can Carry" and the aforementioned "American Dream Plan B" you can – if you’re in the right mood - easily argue that this is one of those albums that makes you a better person. 
One can obviously not explain the term "music that wants the best for you." It must be experienced, and you can do that here. In particular because Tom Petty on large portions of this album has made his way home to the musical territory that spawned classics like “American Girl" and "Anything That's Rock And Roll" way back when.

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Folk music is a bunch of fat people.

_ Bob Dylan

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